Doomed Pilot: “I'm Having Some Trouble Here”

Hear the harrowing last moments of the South Florida pilot whose plane crashed into a home in April

A pilot whose plane crashed into a suburban neighborhood in April, killing him and destroying a home, reported trouble to air traffic controllers before going down, transcripts released Tuesday show.

The transcripts don't indicate a precise cause of the plane trouble experienced by 80-year-old Cecil A. Murray, but show the pilot indicated problems less than two minutes after taking off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on April 17.

"I'm having some trouble here," Murray said. "I'm going to have to come around and land."

Air traffic controllers cleared the pilot for landing, but he couldn't make it back to a runway. A final dispatch between Murray and the air tower, about a minute later, was unintelligible.

He crashed into a home about a mile from the airport, dividing it in two and sparking a fire. Within minutes, Broward County Sheriff's deputies were on the scene.

"Looks like it's a direct hit on the house," one of them radioed to air traffic controllers. "The house is fully engulfed."

Murray, of Tamarac, died and was the only one aboard the twin-engine Cessna. Nobody was home when the plane hit the house.

A preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board said witnesses observed Murray running the engines at full power for about 20 minutes on the ramp before taking off. He then shut down the engines and added oil to one of them.

The witnesses reported seeing fire from the right engine as the plane took off.

The crash was at least the fifth for the airport in the past twelve years.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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